ENGLAND topped the medal table as the Glasgow Games drew to a close last night. The final stretch of the 11-day competition saw the home nations grab their last chance for glory before the Commonwealth baton was handed to Australia at last night’s closing ceremony.
In badminton, Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour took home a silver – the host nation’s 53rd and last medal in what has been a stellar performance – in the women’s singles and there were further gold and silver medals for England in the mixed doubles gold medal match.
Gilmour fell short in her quest for gold at the Commonwealth Games as she lost 2-0 to Canada’s Michelle Li in the women’s singles final.
Glasgow-based Gilmour, the second seed, was unable to impose herself on the third seed at the Emirates Arena and had to settle for silver as she went down 21-14, 21-6.
The match, between the players ranked 17th and 19th in the world, was expected to be evenly contested but it proved anything but as Gilmour was outplayed.
The 20-year-old Scot slumped to the ground after losing the final point – handing Canada a first gold in women’s singles – after 38 minutes.
England’s road cyclists triumphed in the torrential rain conditions, with team mates Lizzie Armitstead and Emma Pooley taking gold and silver.
In the men’s event there was gold for Wales’ Geraint Thomas and bronze for England’s Scott Thwaites behind Jack Bauer of New Zealand taking silver.
Success on the squash courts saw Team England win a further two silvers and a bronze medal, taking their Glasgow 2014 total to 174.
Australia and Canada followed with 137 and 82 medals respectively.
Host nation Scotland finished the Games on 53 medals. Organisers paid tribute to everyone they said had made the Games a success – from the athletes and volunteers to the people of Glasgow who welcomed the 71 nations and territories to their city.
In the men’s hockey gold medal match, Australia cruised to a fifth straight Commonwealth title with a 4-0 triumph over India in what was a repeat of the 2010 Delhi final.
Australia defender Chris Ciriello scored two drag flicks in the first half and completed his hat-trick early in the second half, with Eddie Ockenden sealing matters 20 minutes from time.
“They’re a really good team, have the skills and are very fast,” Ciriello said of India.
“We were working hard in that game and I was lucky enough to bag a couple from the corners.”
The teams then braved the torrential rain at the National Hockey Centre for their medal ceremonies, with Australia coach Graham Reid commenting: “Now we understand what people were saying about the weather.”
England’s netballers suffered a hat-trick of heartbreaks after defeat to Jamaica denied them bronze.
A day after blowing their chances of making the gold medal match for the first time in the dying seconds against New Zealand, Anna Mayes’ side went down 52-48 at the SSE Hydro to miss out on a medal.
This match also looked set to go to the wire with the scores level at 37-37 going into the final quarter, but England’s level dropped when it mattered most as they slipped from 48-47 behind to 51-47 down and from that point there was no way back.
Australia ended New Zealand’s reign as Commonwealth netball champions by claiming gold with a convincing 58-40 win in the final.
Team Scotland smashed their previous record of 33 medals, set in Edinburgh in 1986, and more than doubled their 2010 tally of 26. They finished with 19 gold, 15 silver and 19 bronze medals and secured fourth place in the table.